200 g good-quality smoked salmon , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
a few pinches watercress , washed, to serve
extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon , cut into wedges, to serve
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During a stay in Glasgow I was introduced to these incredible potato scones. I didn’t grow up eating these, but they’re beautiful and so easy. A bit like bubble without the squeak. This was my first attempt at mastering them and it turned into this lovely breakfast, which I made in a pretty little flat in Glasgow’s West End. It’s the posh area of town and is full of beautiful shops and neighbourhoods. Well worth a visit.
This dish is the best brunch I can think of, besides maybe kedgeree. I never would have thought of putting this much flour with potatoes, but it works brilliantly. Give them a go with bangers, stews, on their own, or as part of this lovely brunch…I assure you this is one of the nicest ways to start the day, ever.
Cut the potatoes into 2.5cm chunks and cook them in boiling salted water for around 7 minutes, or until tender. Drain them, allow them to cool, then return them to the empty pan and add the flour. Lightly mash everything together but try to avoid stirring it up too much. Finely slice the chives and add them to the potatoes with a knob of butter and the baking powder, then mash a few more times. (If you like, you can grate a little cheese into the mixture at this point – it’s delicious.) Season, then use your clean hands to bring the mixture together. Pinch off a little, taste and adjust the seasoning, then divide into 4 balls and dust with flour.
Put a large frying pan (roughly 32cm) on a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the potato balls (you may need to cook them in batches) and pat them down so they’re almost flat – 2cm thick is about right. Cook for around 10 minutes, turning them every few minutes until golden on both sides.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs so they are broken and marbled. Season and put aside. When your potato scones are perfectly cooked, divide them between your plates, then take the pan off the heat and add a knob of butter. Once bubbling, pour in the eggs and put back on a low heat. Don’t be tempted to stir aggressively, use a rubber spatula to just sweep up the cooked layer of egg from the bottom of the pan every time it forms, so the uncooked egg can get down there and set. This will give you the nicest texture. The key to good scrambled egg is getting the perfect ratio of cooked silky egg and slightly less-cooked curds. To achieve that, you need to remove it from the heat once it looks three-quarters cooked – trust me. It will carry on cooking and by the time you mix it around one more time and serve, it will be gold.
Arrange a piece of smoked salmon on top and add a pinch of watercress. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and serve with wedges of lemon for squeezing over.